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MO Senate passes bill barring cops from enforcing federal gun control laws

A 9 mm pistol and ammunition sit on top of an AF Form 1314 Firearms Registration form. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class J. T. Armstrong)
May 14, 2021

Missouri’s Senate passed a bill Thursday prohibiting police from enforcing federal gun-control laws in the state.

The Second Amendment Preservation Act, sponsored by State Sen. Eric Burlison (R-Battlefield), passed in the Senate on May 13 by a vote of 22-10.

Restrictions invalidated by the act include any law requiring fees, registration or tracking of firearms, as well as law prohibiting certain individuals from owning a gun. It also bans local police from helping federal agents enforce the laws, and bars them from hiring former federal agents who previously enforced them.

The Missouri House can now vote on whether to send the bill to Gov. Mike Parson before the legislative session ends on Friday.

Passing along party lines with Republican support and Democrat opposition, critics of the legislation said it would block law enforcement from partnering with federal agents on drug or trafficking crimes, arguing that it violates the U.S. Constitution. However, Sen. Burlison defended the bill as a way of protecting Missourians from federal overreach.

“We’re not eliminating federal firearms laws in Missouri,” he said, according to the Kansas City Star. “We’re just simply saying we’re not going to lift a finger to enforce their rules.”

The move comes just days after Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed similar legislation seeking to prevent President Joe Biden’s recent executive actions on gun control from being implemented in the state, The Associated Press reported.

On Monday, Little signed the measure following its passage in Idaho’s House and Senate with veto-proof majorities. The bill also included an emergency notice, allowing it to become effective immediately with the governor’s signature.

Additionally, the law in Idaho is applied retroactively to January 20, the day Joe Biden became president. It bans all of the state’s government entities from enforcing federal laws, treaties, executive orders involving firearms, firearm components and accessories and ammunition.

Opponents of the measure said it could cause the state to lose federal funding, a possibility that was acknowledged by the bill’s supporters.

Last month, Montana’s Gov. Greg Gianforte signed H.B. 258 prohibiting state and local law enforcement from enforcing, implementing or spending state funds to uphold federal bans on firearms, ammunition and magazines.

“Today, I proudly signed Rep. Hinkle’s law prohibiting federal overreach into our Second Amendment-protected rights, including any federal ban on firearms,” Gianforte tweeted.

“I will always protect our #2A right to keep and bear arms,” the governor added.

Earlier this year, Gianforte also signed into law a bill that eases gun restrictions in Montana, expanding concealed carry firearms to include a number of public places, including university campuses and the state Capitol. The law also allows the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit.